San Jose Officer Hostile Tweets Targeting BLM No Longer With Department
A a 20-year veteran of the department who taught gang prevention classes to elementary school students and also antagonized the “Black Lives Matter” movement on social media is “no longer an employee” with the city of San Jose, police confirmed, nearly a year after his tweets sparked calls for his ouster.
San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia confirmed Thursday that Phillip White no longer works for the department but declined to say if he was fired or resigned. White didn’t return a phone call.
San Jose police say they “recognize the sensitive nature of this matter.”
“It is extremely important for the community to know the comments made on Officer White’s private social media account do not reflect the thoughts or feelings of the men and women here at the San Jose Police Department,” Esquivel said in a statement. “Nor do we condone this type of behavior.”
The department suspended him back on Dec. 15 after an online news site reported the tweets amid heightened tensions across the country between police and communities of color.
“Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you,” one tweet stated with the hashtag “#CopsLivesMatter.” Another tweet said he was off duty, attending a movie and would be armed.
“By the way if anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun.”
Community activists demanded his dismissal and the department and the police union condemned the posts. The San Jose Police Officers’ Association didn’t return a phone call Thursday.
The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office looked into the matter but declined to file criminal charges. Nearby Menlo College where White was an assistant basketball coach cut ties with him.